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United States

Friedel's career by the numbers

Five Aside
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U.S. vs. Mexico 50-50 Challenge

International friendly
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Gedion Zelalem happy to finally be part of U.S. national team

The U-23 United States Men's National Team speak ahead of their match against the France U-23 side in the 2015 Toulon Tournament.
Gedion Zelalem has been at Arsenal for two years, and the U.S. hopes that his technical skill will be an asset on the national team.

Gedion Zelalem comes across as a highly confident young man, but the 18-year-old Arsenal and U.S. national team prospect admits that a few weeks ago he was starting to wonder if he would ever get the chance to play for the United States.

"I was supposed to get the FIFA approval much earlier," Zelalem told ESPN FC in a phone interview Wednesday night. "When there was a week left, I didn't think it would happen because I had been waiting four of five months. It was rough."

In the end, Zelalem received...

Agudelo stating his case, while Cameron makes questionable choice

The ESPN FC panel debate whether or not it is time for Jozy Altidore to make way for Aron Johannsson up front for the United States.

When the national team begins gathering in Amsterdam on Thursday to prepare for next month's marquee friendlies against the Netherlands and Germany, the focus will be on the forwards.

Jozy Altidore is out -- the 25-year-old will miss both matches with a strained left hamstring, it was confirmed last week. And with a month, minimum, to wait before Jurgen Klinsmann's first-choice striker will return to the field with Toronto FC, concern that the 25-year-old won't be match-fit when the all-important...

Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore have mixed fortunes, Guzan benched again

Michael Bradley earned Toronto a point with a superb goal at New England.

European and Mexican seasons are winding down and MLS is in full swing, leaving U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann with no shortage of options as he finalizes his squad for friendlies at the Netherlands on June 5 (2:30 p.m. ET, ESPN/WatchESPN) and world champion Germany five days later.

With the roster announcement now less than two weeks away, here's which national teamers are helping (and hurting) their chances of playing big roles next month, at July's all-important Gold Cup and beyond.

Warming up

Michael...

Brad Friedel ends an illustrious career but still offers much to US Soccer

Tottenham and former U.S. International Brad Friedel looks back on his 23-year career.
Tottenham keeper Brad Friedel insists he never thought about his consecutive games record while playing.

And then there were none.

Tottenham Hotspur and former U.S. international goalkeeper Brad Friedel announced on Friday he will retire at the end of the season, which means the last active link to a hugely transformative period for U.S. soccer during the 1990s and early 2000s is set to go into the history books. 

It's astonishing what Friedel accomplished in a career that lasted a mindboggling 23 seasons. At club level he set a record with 310 consecutive Premier League starts and 450 overall.

Despite...

Brad Friedel's career by the numbers

Tottenham and former U.S. International Brad Friedel looks back on his 23-year career.
Tottenham keeper Brad Friedel insists he never thought about his consecutive games record while playing.

Tottenham's American goalkeeper, Brad Friedel, announced his club retirement on Thursday morning, effective at the end of this season. His European résumé is as accomplished as any American's, setting numerous records for age and durability.

• Friedel debuted for Liverpool on Feb. 2, 1998, at age 26, and he played 25 league games for the Reds before moving to Blackburn in November 2000. He remains the only American to play for Liverpool in the Premier League.

• When he...

FIFA delay on Gedion Zelalem ruling potentially good for him and the U.S.

Taylor Twellman and Adrian Healey discuss the importance of FIFA's ruling on Gedion Zelalem.

It took a little longer than expected, but five months after acquiring his American passport, former Maryland high school standout and current Arsenal prospect Gedion Zelalem was cleared Wednesday by FIFA to represent the United States.

Zelalem, 18, was added to the U.S. roster for the upcoming U-20 World Cup in New Zealand just minutes after official word of his eligibility arrived via a tweet from U.S. Soccer federation president Sunil Gulati.